• Building Butts and Bayonets; A guide to moulding and casting replica rifles for the FWW dioramas

    Wednesday 4 February 2015 by Emily Mulvihill. 8 comments

    Peeling two halves of the mould

    A large component of the conservation process and the overall rejuvenation of the First World War dioramas at the AWM has been to create new rifles and bayonets for missing or non-original rifles (suspected to be from previous interventions).Assessing the materialsthey were constructed fromalong with images from the initial diorama displays in the 1930’s we were able to identify original rifles and to hence find appropriate examples …

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  • Work continues on the FWW dioramas!

    Friday 17 October 2014 by Alana Treasure. 6 comments

    Somme Winter

    Our apologies that it has been a while since our last FWW Dioramas conservation posting - it'sbeen a big year!! Along with continued cleaning and repairs, some of the tasks and activities we've been spending our time on this year are moulding and casting missing weapons, repairing broken weapons and re-joining the previously cut pieces of diorama bases requiring filling and inpainting. The Semakh diorama has been returned to display in …

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  • Movement on the Western Front - Dioramas Part 2

    Wednesday 4 December 2013 by Alana Treasure. 3 comments

    Part 2 - Reinforcement and Movement As mentioned previously, the dioramas consist of a number of sections of base framework, some of which are bolted together, some of which are not. Well-hidden behind the display cases, facades and the diorama surface, few still sat on their original leg castors, while many had been trimmed and placed on fascinating, decades-old systems of levelling the individual sections. Example of levelling system…

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  • Movement on the Western Front - Dioramas Part 1

    Wednesday 4 December 2013 by Alana Treasure.

    Part 1 - Demolition When the Western Front dioramas were previously placed in their current positions when the gallery opened in the 1970s, they were dismantled in (now) Aircraft Hall, and moved in as separate sections and re-joined with plaster and fill material in the space. At that time, the dioramas were not considered National Collection items, a status they gained in the 1990s. As National Collection items, and even if they …

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  • Transportation series dioramas: Consolidation

    Friday 13 September 2013 by Jocelyn Evans. 1 comments

    While Kasi has been working away at those pesky crates, I’ve been tasked with adhering the flaking paint on the painted backdrops. In conservation we call this process ‘consolidation’. While the backdrops of the large dioramas are all in pretty good shape, the two small diorama series (‘Transportation of Supplies’ and ‘Evacuation of the wounded’, each comprising 9 scenes) have not been so lucky. On some of these small …

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  • Crate Expectations

    Tuesday 10 September 2013 by Kasi Albert.

    As more building works continue in the Western Front Gallery, the Diorama Conservation Team has moved into the Sinai Palestine Gallery, to take on the treatment of the beautiful Transportation of Supplies series of dioramas. Although much smaller than most of what we have been tackling so far, these nine scenes present their own set of challenges. The Transportation of Supplies series in the Sinai Palestine Gallery, before the start of …

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  • Diorama conservation - Condition reporting and documentation

    Thursday 4 July 2013 by Alana Treasure. 4 comments

    Before beginning conservation treatment on any item in our National Collection (whether it is an artwork, uniform or tank...) the first step is to inspect and document its condition. We look at how the item is made, what materials are used, what state it is in and whether there are any damaged or unstable/fragile areas or components. We can then safely handle/move the item and determine what conservation treatment is required. Last year …

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  • Behind, over and under the scenes.....

    Friday 19 April 2013 by Alana Treasure. 2 comments

    Welcome to the first of our First World War diorama conservation blog posts! Throughout the redevelopment of the FWW galleries we hope to give you an insight into what goes on not just behind, but also over and under the scenes! Theframework under Mont St Quentin A birdseyeview over a section ofSomme Winter Behind the fibreglass backdrop ofYpres This is the first time such extensive conservation has been performed on the FWW …

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